The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) and Mila appoint three new Canada CIFAR AI Chairs

Picture of Derek Nowrouzezahrai, Catherine Régis and Adriana Romero-Soriano

The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) and Canada’s three National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Institutes today announced the appointment of eight outstanding researchers as Canada CIFAR AI Chairs, including three affiliated with Mila - Quebec AI Institute: Derek Nowrouzezahrai, Catherine Régis and Adriana Romero-Soriano. The appointments bring the number of Canada CIFAR AI Chairs to 126, continuing to grow Canada's robust AI research ecosystem and advancing Canada’s global leadership in AI.

The addition of these researchers will help to advance priority areas under the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy at CIFAR including health, sustainable energy and the environment, fundamental science, and the responsible use of AI.

The Canada CIFAR AI Chairs program remains a cornerstone of the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, recruiting the world’s top AI researchers to Canada while retaining existing talent. The prestigious program provides university-affiliated faculty with long-term, dedicated funding to support cutting-edge research programs and help them train the next generation of AI leaders in Canada. 


Here are the new Canada CIFAR AI Chairs affiliated with Mila




Derek Nowrouzezahrai


Core Academic Member, Mila

Associate Professor, McGill University

 Derek Nowrouzezahrai’s group is designing new mathematical models of visual phenomena and dynamics, solving problems in diverse applications including light transport, fluid dynamics and control, reinforcement and representation learning, robotics, augmented reality, digital manufacturing, computational optics and imaging, and image and geometry processing. His work has been used in feature films, video games, autonomous vehicles, amusement parks and consumer products. 



Catherine Régis


Associate Academic Member, Mila

Full Professor, University of Montreal

Catherine Régis is a specialist in health law and policy, and in innovation law. She is also the co-chair of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) working group on responsible AI. Most of her work explores how to best regulate AI at the national and international levels. She is especially interested in guiding the development of norms for the health care sector, to ensure that AI is accessible and safe for patients and health care professionals. 



Adriana Romero-Soriano


Core Industry Member, Mila

Adjunct Professor, McGill University


Adriana Romero Soriano’s research focuses on developing machine learning models which can learn from multi-modal data, reason about conceptual relations, and leverage active and adaptive data acquisition strategies. The goal of her research is to enable interactive and immersive experiences of content creation and reconstruction that work for everyone. Her most recent work is at the intersection of generative modeling, active sensing, and responsible AI.





“With the rapid development and deployment of artificial intelligence, it has never been more important to ensure that we are supporting our best and brightest minds, their research programs and work to train the next generation of research leaders. Ongoing funding for Canada CIFAR AI Chairs is advancing research in a range of fundamental and applied AI topics, including drug discovery and machine learning for health, autonomous vehicles, materials discovery, human-AI interaction, natural language processing, and more. On behalf of the Government of Canada, my congratulations to all the well-deserving recipients.” – The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry 



“Canada’s AI ecosystem has grown tremendously since the launch of the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy six years ago. Central to the strategy has been the recruitment and retention of excellent researchers at Canada’s three National AI Institutes, who in turn attract next-generation talent as well as commercial investments in this globally in-demand field. We’re excited about the contributions of these new and renewed Chairs, who will continue to advance Canada’s global leadership in AI, a technology that when used responsibly holds terrific potential to address some of humanity’s greatest challenges.” – Elissa Strome, Executive Director, Pan-Canadian AI Strategy at CIFAR 



"Since the launch of the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, Canada has continued to exercise strong leadership in AI. This is widely due to its excellence in research and commitment to the responsible development of AI: two values that are fundamental to Mila and which are reflected in today's nominations. All three Mila-affiliated nominees have made invaluable contributions to the field and we are proud that their talents are being recognized."  – Yoshua Bengio, Mila’s Founder and Scientific Director